Neill expects more from Brookes

'I think we'll see a real improvement out of Josh Brookes this year...he'll certainly be a force' - Philip Neill
Australian star Josh Brookes will be a much stronger force in this year's MCE British Superbike Championship, according to Tyco Suzuki team boss Philip Neill.

Brookes' season was marred by a series of crashes that knocked his confidence last year, but Neill expects the 2010 runner-up to up the ante on the GSX-R1000 superbike in 2012.

“The key this year is that Josh is back on the same bike with essentially the same team and that is a benefit to a rider,” said Neill. “I think we'll see a real improvement out of Josh Brookes this year and he wasn't far away from the front last year, so with an improvement this time Josh will certainly be a force.

“Josh was fairly settled after a short space of time at the start of last year and we had tried really hard to provide him with the right environment and give him all the pre-season testing he needed.

“After pre-season testing we were feeling really confident and in terms of speed and lap times Josh was right up there in the first few races. Unfortunately he had a couple of crashes in those first few rounds, which really knocked his confidence and set him back in a really difficult position in the championship.

“He was struggling to find reasons for his crashes and that set him back to square one and he had to rebuild his confidence right through the rest of the year before he started to come good again,” added Neill.

“We were making little changes to the bike along the way too and like every season sometimes you take a few steps forward and then a few steps backwards because it's not possible to move forward all the time.

“When he showed his form in the Shootout we were at the stage where Josh had got what he wanted from the bike and his confidence was higher; it's just a pity that it was the end of the season rather than the start of the season.”

Neill has pinpointed consistency in the early part of the campaign as key to mounting a serious assault on the BSB title.

“The BSB championship now is very different to the championship we have competed in during other years – it's very much a championship of two halves. We need to be a little bit more settled during the first two-thirds of the season and put Josh into the position that he needs to be in,” he said.

“You can't win the championship in the first two-thirds of the year but obviously you could lose it by failing to make the Shootout.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Josh Brookes to race for Tyco Suzuki in 2012 (pic: Double Red/MCN)
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki, BSB [Credit: MSV Media]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki, BSB [Credit: MSV Media]
Sylvain Guintoli, Suzuki, Sepang [Credit: Peter McLaren]
Sylvain Guintoli, Suzuki, Sepang [Credit: Peter McLaren]
Sylvain Guintoli, Suzuki, Sepang [Credit: Peter McLaren]
Sylvain Guintoli, Suzuki, Sepang [Credit: Peter McLaren]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, BSB [Credit: Anvil Hire Yamaha]
Tyco BMW bikes, Motorcycle Live [Credit: TAS Racing]
David Giugliano, Tyco BMW [Credit: MSV]
Hawk Racing Suzuki, BSB [Credit: BSB media]
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit:]
Christian Iddon, Tyco BMW [Credit:]
Christian Iddon, Tyco BMW [Credit:]
Tommy Bridewell, Bennetts Suzuki, [Credit:]
Tommy Bridewell, Bennetts Suzuki, [Credit:]
Christian Iddon, Tyco BMW [Credit:]
Christian Iddon, Tyco BMW [Credit:]

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January 10, 2012 12:54 PM

I don't really get the sniping that Josh gets on the various forums as a dangerous rider. He's had a great career at international level riding fair and fast, then has a couple of unfortunate accidents in BSB and suddenly he's a dangerous rider. I (and a fair number of bike racing fans) am more than happy to see a racer in BSB who always goes for the place and takes no prisoners, he's not there to make friends, he's there to win. A trip to the hairdressers might not be a bad idea though.

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